View Full Version : Search function poll

05-30-2009, 05:45 AM
After reading many threads, I often see suggestions to Noobs to use the search function of this Forum. Personally, I have mixed results with searches. Take "ukulele instruction" and "beginner ukuleles" I get good results (i.e. one page). But, try "low g string" or just "low g" and nothing useful (500 post, 20 pages). The search defaults to "string". I don't know about you, but I don't have the patience to look through 500 post to find an answer. I realize that my mixed results could be my ignorance on properly using the search function (not using proper keywords). Anyway, what have been your results? Any suggestions? I think a lot (not all) of noob questions get asked not from being lazy, but out of frustration IMHO. :anyone:

05-30-2009, 06:01 AM
I try to use the search function as much as I can before I ask. But I get frustrated and finally post to find out that I must be doing something wrong. I usually get an answer by some one that searches and finds what I was looking for using the search. So I have come to the conclusion that it must be the way I use it. Like all things I am sure I will figure it out

05-30-2009, 06:24 AM
The search function could use a little streamlining. For example, I just typed in strings. I realize strings is a pretty broad search but... this is the first result

How many ladies play tenors...whaa

Typed in Low G String

a bunch of posts about guitars for sale...ok

How many ladies play tenors... again

This poll ...lol

This was using the basic search function. Using the advanced search function helps a bit.

05-30-2009, 05:41 PM
Forum users will have more success if they learn how to use "full text Boolean" syntax/parameters to phrase their searches.

A FAQ or sticky on search engine syntax would be helpful.

Examples of searches using parameters might be:

Kala AND Pono (to find threads with both Kala and Pono)
Kala OR Pono (to find threads with either Kala or Pono)
Kala NOT Makala AND Kala NOT Pono (to find threads with Kala but not Makala or Pono)
You can also type words in double quotes to search for an exact phrase.

A limitation is that the search engine doesn't like words of three characters or less.

Using the example of the OP:
A search for low g string will turn up 20+ pages of results because the search does not recognize the workds "low" or "g" because they are too short (under three characters). So the search engine is only seeing and searching for the word string.


a search for "low g string" (in double quotes) turns up 3 or 4 pages of results. It's a search on the same words, but the search is "phrased" differently.

05-30-2009, 06:35 PM
I took a course in college about using search engines and databases (I needed an extra credit to stay full time), so I know how to use the search button all too well.

Personally, I'm sure 90% of the repeat questions are because people don't use the search. Not to say that people are lazy, it's just that way with every other forum that's ever existed.

I've seen sites that force new users to review the searching procedure, and it still happens. It'll always be that way, and there'll always be people who'll snap and scream at the people that do it. It's what makes the internet such a wonderful place.

05-30-2009, 10:34 PM
I have not had a problem using the search engine. It is great with finding out what I am looking for.

05-30-2009, 10:39 PM
search function is fantastic

05-30-2009, 11:56 PM
Hot tip: If the vbulletin standard search isn't getting you the results you're after, try google!

site:ukuleleunderground.com/forum/ <search terms>

Give it a shot :)

If you want to persuade the site admins to improve the built in search function, I'd recommend that the sphinxsearch plugin be looked at

Harold O.
05-31-2009, 06:40 AM
Search engines are quirky at best yet will yield useful results if formatted properly.

When first joing the UU forum, I wanted to post a link to the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain's version of the Good, the Bad & the Ugly. Before doing so, I searched to see that this wasn't a duplicate effort.

So I searched Good, Bad & Ugly (in a variety of formats and quotation marks and who know what-all). Got a lot of info about good ukes, bad ukes, and ugly ukes.

Searched Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Got nothing.

So I posted the YouTube link. Got a handful of "This is old news" responses.

Search engines require the database to be set up properly, the user to enter keywords according to the database format, and all three parts (user, database, keywords) to function together. There are commonalities, but no hard/fast rules for all. It's getting better.

05-31-2009, 08:00 AM
if you search first and don't find anything. just start a new post and say, "I searched first but didn't find anything"

That will keep those whiners at bay. :cheers:

05-31-2009, 12:30 PM
if you search first and don't find anything. just start a new post and say, "I searched first but didn't find anything"

That will keep those whiners at bay. :cheers:

LOL, I see a lot of that happening already. :D

06-03-2009, 08:54 PM
Too be honest. I like asking questions to real people.

Sure it may have been answered before. But if no one ever posts then this or any forum will be a bit boring.

I have been trying to research first before asking. But then I am just a lurker.

06-03-2009, 08:57 PM
I've looked all over and cant find the search.

06-04-2009, 01:03 AM
I've looked all over and cant find the search.

Try using the search function!:old:


06-04-2009, 01:30 AM
Almost every forum/bbs has a limited (poor) search function. That's because these simple functions almost never offer a full range of boolean capabilities (such as AND, OR and NOT and quotation marks for phrases). Plus these functions usually ignore common words (usually provided in a database list) and short words (anything four or fewer characters).

But even if they did, I doubt many people would know how to use them or bother to learn. Most people don't know even simple searching techniques for Google - how many people use the plus sign (+) and minus sign (-) when searching? Or quotation marks?

Most of us use brute force searches: type as many words as you can think of and hit go. If that doesn't bring up the right content, change a word or two and start again. That's like playing the ukulele wearing winter mitts.

Since apparently only one in ten users can actually spell correctly, a lot of searches produce undesired results or worse, no results at all.

How many users have read the FAQ:

How do I search for something?

To quickly find a thread or post of interest anywhere on the bulletin board, click on the 'Search' link in the navigation bar at the top of most forum pages. Then, type in the keyword or phrase you wish to search for, and select either 'Show Threads' or 'Show Posts' to view the results. By selecting posts, you will be shown only the actual post in which the search word appears.

For more control over the search, select 'Advanced Search' from the drop-down box. The advanced search page allows you to restrict your search to individual forums, find posts or threads by user, or return results based on tags (?). There are also options to find posts from a certain date, or threads with a certain number of replies.

How do I search a specific forum or thread?

If you are browsing a forum, you can quickly search for a thread or post within it by clicking on the 'Search this forum' link near the top of the page (it's above the list of threads). You can also search for individual posts within a thread by clicking on the 'Search this Thread' link at the top of any thread view page.
How many use the advanced search feature before posting a "I tried and couldn't find it" post?